Oh, come on. Has anyone associated with the “federal vision” said that “it’s not possible to be actually, truly united to the FEDERAL VISION MOVEMENT and fall away”? So far as I know, the answer is no. Has anyone denied that a person might agree with the “federal vision” today but come to disagree a year from now? So far as I know, no. What they’ve said is that a particular person quit the movement (or conversation, or whatever it is) without quite getting it. Does anyone want to deny that such a phenomenon appears in lots of different contexts? People’s opinions change, sometimes based on truth, sometimes based on misinformation or misunderstanding.
Speaking of being “actually, truly united,” let me recommend C.S. Lewis’s little essay “The Death of Words” (available in an essay collection titled On Stories), in which he says that whenever we feel the need to prop up a word with intensifiers (“really,” “truly,” “actually,” “absolutely” etc.), “we may be sure that the word has not long to live.” I fear that our theologizing is full of that sort of thing.
By the way, please give my regards to your father, Pastor Lane. I haven’t talked with him in years, but I always esteemed him highly. I joined him many times in peaceful protests outside a couple of abortion clinics. He’s a gentleman.
This is just rhetorical nonsense. No one claims anything of the sort.
Pastor Scott says, “According to the FV, one can be truly, if conditionally and historically, united to Christ, elect, justified, adopted etc and that same one may actually lose all of those benefits by failing to cooperate sufficiently with grace.”
No one claims this is true either. When using the stipulated language of the Westminster Confession, it is obvious that one cannot be justified and then lose his salvation. But the Bible does not use the words in such a wooden and stipulated manner. Sorry. It is much more dynamic. It speaks of the elect falling away and of those who are enlightened and adopted despising the gift of salvation. It does warn the Church as a whole against unbelief. But those who do fall away were not decreetaly elect. The ability to preserver is a gift given only to the decreetaly elect, but we cannot know who is decreetaly elect.
I cannot disagree with any of Mr. Robertsons final conclusions. They are all essential to the Gospel, found in Holy Scripture, and believed everywhere by all Reformed Christians. If anyone denies that resting on Christ and His righteousness only, is the alone ( only, naked, nude, sola ) instrument of justification, they ARE heretics.
” The ‘gospel’ is a statement of the good news concerning what has been accomplished for the world through the Passion and the Glory of Christ. It is not to be identified with any particular interpretation of the mechanism whereby the good news is appropriated by believers. Justification by faith alone is a Protestant phrase which was intended to distinguish one interpretation of the meaning of justification from an understanding of the position of Roman Catholicism in the 16th century. Justification by faith alone is not the gospel; in fact, it is not even a part of the gospel, because the content of the gospel is what God has done for us through Christ, not what I must do to receive the benefit. To deny that Christ has died for our justification would in fact be a denial of the gospel, but no orthodox Christian denies that. ”
Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens; Justification, by John Fesko; The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan; Recovering the Reformed Confessions, by Scott Clark; Brief Outline of Theology, by Friedrich Schleiermacher; Principles of Sacred Theology, by Abraham Kuyper
Books I am now reading
Exodus commentaries; Matthew commentaries; Turretin's Institutes of Elenctic Theology; Baker's new history of the church
Books for future reading
Turretin's Institutes; Joseph Caryl on Job, German encyclopedias of theology